As I sat and watched Game 5 of the Yankees / Astros series, I pondered where that thumping Astros lineup disappeared to. I can’t help but think that I could be watching the Red Sox if only they had addressed their need for a big bat following the retirement of David Ortiz.
It’s no secret that the Red Sox offense was sorely lacking a big bat in the middle of their lineup all season. The Sox finished the regular season 27th out of 30 MLB teams in home runs. The 38 home runs from David Ortiz played a significant factor as the Red Sox declined to spend the money to replace him with a significant free agent last winter (How nice would Edwin Encarnacion look in a Sox uni).
Right, or wrong, President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski was able to keep the Sox under the tax threshold this season therefore lowering the impact if Boston should go over it this winter.
Dombrowski, undoubtedly, will look to add that big bat this offseason. The question remains will he do so by signing a free agent like JD Martinez, or will Dealin’ Dave show up again in an attempt to acquire that bat via trade.
With word leaking that Derek Jeter and Co. are looking to significantly trim the payroll of his recently purchased Miami Marlins, rumors have been starting to spread about the availability of Giancarlo Stanton as the Marlins look to get out from under the remaining 295 million dollars on Stanton’s contract.
This, of course, has led many Sox fans to believe the front office should do whatever it takes to bring Stanton to Fenway.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love very much to see Stanton ripping bombs onto Lansdowne Street. His right handed hitting power would play perfectly at Fenway Park like we haven’t seen since Manny left. The problem, however, is that Stanton will not come cheap both with his aforementioned contract as well as the pieces the Sox would need to give up to get him.
Let’s first look at that contract. The close to 30 million per season isn’t a huge problem given where salaries currently stand across Major League Baseball and the fact that Boston is one of the few markets that can afford multiple high priced players. The 10 years remaining on the contract of a player who will be 28 years old when Opening Day arrives is a big problem. Look around the league at some of the 8-10 year contracts that have recently been signed and you will be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t look bad by years 4-5, awful by years 6-7 and downright horrendous for the last couple years. Couple that with the fact that Stanton averaged only 115 games played during the 2012-2016 seasons and those concerns only escalate for me.
Next, let’s consider what the Marlins would require in return. While prospects will no doubt be a part of any package, Miami will also want active, young MLB players to replace Stanton in their lineup. This means at least one of Andrew Benintendi and/or Rafael Devers plus someone like Eduardo Rodriguez. Neither Benintendi nor Devers are likely to match Stanton’s production, but both come at a fraction of the cost.
An important factor when considering that many of the Red Sox other young players are reaching the point in their careers where their salaries are beginning to increase. Also consider that as impressive as these two young Sox have looked, both are just approaching what they are capable of. Stanton meanwhile has very likely already had the best season he will ever have, as amazing as it was. Trading for someone who’s value is at an all time high is never a good idea.
Along with Benintendi / Devers, Miami will want several of the Sox top prospects. This could mean including Jason Groome, Michael Chavis, the recently discussed Tanner Houck, and perhaps others. Dombrowski has decimated the terrific farm system handed over to him by Ben Cherington and a trade for Stanton would leave the cupboard bare.
Giancarlo Stanton could do great things over the next couple of years as a member of the Red Sox. However, the risk just doesn’t outweigh the reward for this Sox fan.